From San Sebastian’s world-famous food scene and the attractions of Barcelona, to the incredible museums of Madrid, history of Granada and beaches on the Costa del Sol, this Spain road trip has it all!
Road tripping past perfect beaches, huge mountains and ancient monuments sounds like a pretty perfect holiday doesn’t it? If you’ve dreamed of exploring Spain, this guide is guaranteed to help you plan your trip.
It’s the country I’ve visited the most in the world. Why does it keep me coming back for more? Because it’s so varied. I love the fact that you can spend mornings exploring pretty Medieval cities, lunchtimes feasting on plates of tapas, afternoons on the beach and evenings enjoying the nightlife.
In the south of Spain you can even ski in the morning in Sierra Nevada and then hit the beach on the Costa del Sol in the afternoon – how amazing is that?
Whether you’re interested in art, architecture, history, food or fashion, a trip to Spain will no doubt appeal.
If you’re interested in art, you’ll enjoy visiting Barcelona’s Picasso and Miro Galleries, the architectural wonder that is Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, Madrid’s impressive art collection at the Prado Museum and the modern artworks in Malaga’s Pompidou Centre.
If you enjoy the great outdoors there are plenty of beautiful landscapes in Spain. You could hike in Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park in the north, explore Valencia’s Turia Gardens, explore Murcia’s weird and wonderful sandstone wonders at Bolnuevo or even ski in Sierra Nevada.
I’m a firm believer that the best way to get to know a country is through its cuisine, and in Spain, you’re in for a treat! San Sebastian in the Basque Country has the most Michelin-starred eateries per capita in Europe. There’s a great culture across this region for pintxos – small dishes often showcasing local ingredients.
Head south and you’ll enjoy plates and plates of delicious tapas. From Spanish hams and cheeses, to griddled peppers, calamari and fresh fish, there’s so much to taste along the way,
And the best part about a Spain road trip? The freedom! You don’t have to stick to the obvious routes. I’d 100% encourage veering off course from time to time.
Often it’s when you decide to travel slowly and go off the beaten track, you start stumbling across hidden gems. You’ll take a wrong turning and end up in an authentic Spanish town that isn’t in any of the tourist guide books!
Spain is often associated with summer beach holidays, but it’s worth remembering that many of the interior parts of the country offer just as much natural beauty, with vineyards, mountains, canyons, olive groves and whitewashed towns.
So, rather than create one epic Spain road trip, I’m diving it in tow: a northern Spain road trip and a southern Spain road trip. That way you can just pick one and break the country up into manageable chunks. If you’ve got a while, then simply join the two up and continue on from Salamanca to Madrid.
Click through to take a look at each itinerary, and figure out which one is right for you…
When Is The Best Time To Visit Spain?
You might think that Spain has a Mediterranean climate, but that’s only true for the southern parts of the country. Spain’s location and geography means that the north has a cooler climate and the east around Murcia has a more arid climate. Obviously the mountainous areas in the Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada are completely different too.
Temperatures vary greatly by region, but as a quick example, you can expect temperatures as low as -10 in around Sierra Nevada (in the mountains near Granada) in January, and as high as 40°C in July in cities such as Seville. Temperatures in the south remain mild in winter, making destinations along the Costa del Sol including Malaga and Marbella, great options for a winter holiday.
If you’re wondering when is the best time to visit Spain, I’d suggest planning a trip between April and June, or between September and October, just after the peak summer season.
The weather tends to be consistent in these months and you’ll skip the peak season so should benefit from lower prices and fewer people.
What to pack for your road trip
If you’re wondering what to pack for your trip, this guide to road trip essentials has you covered. From portable chargers to ways to stay entertained on long journeys, it’ll help you create your road trip packing list.
I hope you’ve enjoyed checking out my Spain road trip itineraries. Let me know where you decide to go and what your highlights are!